Work + Motherhood :: During Cold + Flu Season

December 14, 2015


The Hofmeyer family has been having a rough go at it lately with illness. I have been told that the first winter with kids is ROUGH – a non-stop merry-go-round of passing around crud from church nurseries and play dates and shopping carts. (PS: I was reminded by my friend Laura not to look for someone to blame when she shared this article!)

Over Thanksgiving in Florida with my family Ainsley spiked a high fever from an ear infection. After a round of antibiotics and (thankfully) flying home without much issue, Joe started to feel sick. Sore throat, congestion, etc. A few days later I came down with the same symptoms. We figured we were getting Ainsley’s cold that led to her ear infection, and so we weren’t super worried about Ainsley getting sick. As it turns out, we both ended up getting the worst cold ever, which morphed into chest congestion and a sinus infection and plenty of drugs for the both of us. And, you can probably guess where this story is going…We didn’t get Ainsley’s cold, she got ours, and now we have a sick little baby again.

Despite our best efforts at keeping her healthy and warding off this cold, we were back at the doctor today for another round of antibiotics for Ainsley and a lot of rest and cuddles at home with mom for another day. Meaning that work schedule of mine? Well it’s been a little wonky lately and I’ve been feeling the pressure.

Don’t get me wrong, I love caring for that sweet little baby, especially when she is sick, but the push and pull of being a work-at-home mom with a flexible schedule means you’re most frequently the default parent who stays home with the baby when she’s sick. Selfishly, when I’m not the best version of myself, I get a little bent out of shape when my schedule gets tossed up in the air. (Ainsley usually goes to a friend’s house three days a week, meaning I get solid, uninterrupted hours to focus on work each week) I want to dive deeply into the tasks at hand while also juggling the responsibilities of caring for a sick baby at home – to be fully present in both spheres of my life.

So last night, when it became obvious that Ainsley wasn’t going to child care and was headed back to the doctor? I did my little huff and puff routine. I fretted and fussed and ranted a bit as to why I had to be the default parent. (For the record, Joe took off work Friday to care for both a sick wife AND baby.) It was a little ugly.

And then I adjusted my sails and my attitude and decided to just deal with it and be thankful that I have a job that allows for creatively managing a schedule so I am able to do both. I woke up a few hours early to get a little work done and I’ll probably go to bed a few hours later to finish up my work for the day, but what a blessing, right? Instead of giving into the feeling that I’m not doing anything really well these last couple weeks, I’m choosing to look at what a gift it is to be able to play the role of default parent.

This season of new motherhood and freelance and flexible schedules is a challenge and a gift. Some days I feel like I’m not doing anything truly well, and other days I feel like I can do all the things. So, work-at-home momma, if you’re feeling the same way know that you’re not alone. Keep up the good fight of juggling responsibilities and having a hand in about a thousand different things. We’re in this together!


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  • Reply Kara Knaack December 14, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    I can completely identify with this. My husband took Friday off so I could do all my Christmas shopping, etc. Only to wake up at 4 AM with the vomits so I was all sorts of uncompassionate that he messed up my plans for the day, even though he was dying the slow painful death of stomach flu. #worstwifeever

  • Reply Shanna December 14, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    I get it. In this particular season filled with so much good, I feel like I do everything halfway in an effort to do everything (!) and would much rather slim down my task list and do a few things well, but that’s not what God’s giving me. It’s a fight for joy some days (and an easy task on others), but either way I continually continually have to go to Him. He knows what to give us to stretch us and to push us to Him, that’s def for sure!

  • Reply Heather Disarro December 14, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    Girl you are NOT alone. I was literally just talking to some friends this morning who have our same schedule – blogging/writing/working from home with kids is no joke! I have to die to myself and my wishes daily, which is never ever fun. But when it comes down to it I feel so lucky to even have the choice of where/when to work. And I feel so blessed that I’ve been the one to see all of my boys’ firsts, and to be the one they turn to for comfort when they feel yucky.

    Thinking of you in solidarity as I go upstairs to medicate my little guy again!

  • Reply Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy December 15, 2015 at 12:34 am

    It’s hard being the mama sometimes. I, too, work from home, and it’s a very difficult balance. My daughter doesn’t go to childcare so I do struggle a bit with the exhaustion that my husband doesn’t quite understand. I wouldn’t have it any other way, though, because I want to stay home with her and I’m thankful to have a flexible job!

  • Reply DessertForTwo December 15, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    I think you and I are twins. I get so freaking upset at being the default parent. I run this scenario in my head where I get so mad that not only do I care for the babe full time, I work full time! And Camille still stays entirely at home. But, whatever, ya know? My self-esteem and self-worth are tied very closely to my productivity, and that’s just who I am. I try to calm down. I’m not saying it always works. But, I try. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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